What Happened To Charlie Morgan: The Ballboy Kicked By Eden Hazard
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On January 23rd 2013 during a Capital One Cup semi-final clash between Chelsea and Swansea City, an incident involving 17-year-old ballboy Charlie Morgan became one of the most talked about sagas in modern football.
Swansea were leading 2-0 on aggregate after a smash-and-grab win at Stamford Bridge two weeks earlier, where goals from Michu and Danny Graham gave Michael Laudrup's side a deserved win, and things were going to plan in the second leg.
The Liberty Stadium was bouncing on a cold Wednesday night in South Wales after a dogged and determined performance.
Headlines of Swansea reaching a first major Cup final in their 100 year history were being drafted.
But that would all change in the 80th minute, when the ball would go out for a goal kick.
Chelsea winger Eden Hazard was eager for a quick restart but instead of retrieving the ball, he inadvertently kicked 17-year-old Morgan, who proceeded to roll around in pain, holding his ribs as the crowd voiced their displeasure.
Moments later, Hazard was given a straight red card by referee Chris Foy.
Headlines were soon re-written as footage of the incident was broadcast across social media.
The Belgian international was handed a three match ban for his actions at The Liberty that night but following the extraordinary on-field events, Morgan was interviewed in the presence of his father and had not made a complaint about the player's actions.
Hazard, meanwhile, sent out his apologies to the teenager ball-boy in an interview with Chelsea TV after the full-time whistle.
"The boy put his whole body on to the ball and I was just trying to kick the ball." he said.
"I think I kicked the ball and not the boy. I apologise. The ballboy came in the changing room and we had a quick chat. I apologised and the boy apologised as well, and it is over. Sorry."
South Wales Police announced that the Chelsea midfielder would not face charges, while Charlie broke his silence on Twitter. "Crazy 24 hours." he wrote. "Spoke to Hazard and I will not be pressing charges. Be in touch."
No further action was taken and the rest is, well, history.
But what happened in the aftermath of this memorable event? And what is Charlie up to now?
In the hours, and days, after the incident, Morgan's numbers on social media went through the roof.
His following on Twitter increased by approximately 15,000% to over 100,000 and, to this day, the former Swansea City ballboy remains verified on the platform; although with a slightly lower following of 34,900.
Charlie, who was 17-years-old at the time, had become an unwitting celebrity.
In the days after the incident, he would feature in several national newspapers, while his social media continued to receive a huge amount of traction.
But even before this bizarre incident unfolded, the teenager was known by many as the son of Swansea City's biggest shareholders, Martin Morgan and his wife, Louisa.
He was studying for his A Levels at the time and during this period, Morgan's ambition to start a business would soon become a reality.
Charlie and best friend Jackson Quinn noticed there was a gap in the market for a premium Vodka, especially in bottle service.
The pair decided to create a company called Au Vodka, a British Ultra-Premium brand that would eventually provide service to the likes of Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Costco.
British DJ, producer and TV presenter Charlie Sloth is also a partial owner of the company, according to Morgan.
"Inspired by gold, Au Vodka incorporates the periodic table where gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and atomic number 79." their website reads.
"We combine our British heritage and luxury ingredients together to create truly exceptional ultra-premium vodka. Recognized instantly by our signature gold bottle, Au Vodka is for those who choose individuality over common following."
Over the Christmas period, Au Vodka became a popular gift across social media and continues to be a huge success in the UK market and beyond.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images & Sky Sports
Topics: Football News, Eden Hazard, Swansea City, Chelsea, Football, EFL Cup